I am not troubled by the plan to eliminate most Saturday mail delivery, though I wonder how it is going to be forced on a Congress that has been unwilling to implement it to date. The Postal Service has little choice but to undertake significant action to conserve resources, given its multi-billion-dollar shortfall. Mail service is increasingly irrelevant in a society which is more and more paperless and in which most bills may routinely be paid via automatic checking account deduction and the Internet.
The Postal Service has encountered hardship in part through being required by the government to pre-fund its healthcare obligations, but not all of its challenges are due to external forces, including a society which is in the midst of technical modernization. It also reflects the often poor level of service afforded the postal customer. At homes and businesses throughout most of my life, I have experienced countless instances of late delivery, mis-delivery, lost items, and general incompetence, problems that I have not ever encountered with United Parcel Service or Federal Express, whose personnel are required to accept responsibility for the quality of their service. I have never read a story about a UPS or FedEx driver hoarding or discarding parcels, but there have been many such incidents involving postal workers. I have also spent large amounts of time waiting in line at postal stations which have demonstrated little, if any concept of the value of the customer’s time.
The Postal Service will need to adapt to the times if it is to survive. That is something it has demonstrated little ability or desire to do to this point.